Misry pushed the stool near the wash basin and climbed on it. She took a quick scan of the surroundings.

Happy to find that no one was watching her, she opened the cap of Colgate toothpaste that was lying on the shelf, above the wash basin and pressed the tube gently. A small amount of toothpaste oozed out of the nozzle. Misry put it on her index finger. Then carefully she recapped the tube and climbed down the stool.

With all the time in her hand, she sat down on the stool, closed her eyes and licked the toothpaste on her index finger. The peppermint flavor had transported her to a different world.

Mashi see, Misry is eating toothpaste again!” Raju caught her red handed.

“Misry!!”

Before Madhavi appeared from the kitchen Misry ran out of the house.

Mashi, she ran that way?” Raju told Madhavi.

“What were you doing standing here? Now go and find her.” Madhavi was losing her temper.

“The guests are just about to arrive. Should I take care of your cousin or the kitchen?” She sounded angry.

Raju knew it was better to leave before he was thrashed too. He ran after Misry.

Madhavi went back to her work. Few officers from the Head Quarter were visiting the camp and were stopping over for lunch at their place. So Madhavi was pretty busy with her assistants in the kitchen. She was glad that the drawing room was done, the dining table perfectly laid out and the children properly dressed. All she had to do was get dressed and be ready to receive the guests. Anurag would walk in any moment with them.

***

Misry hadn’t been very far from home. When she saw Raju coming after her, she started running.

“Wait don’t run! Wait for me!” Raju shouted. But Misry didn’t listen and kept running.

She finally stopped in front of a pool of muddy water. The water was inviting.

Since it was not very deep, she just wanted to dip her legs. She neatly wrapped up her dress on her lap and took off her sandals.

By that time Raju had already arrived. She was about to waddle into the muddy pool when Raju stopped her. He was pulling her hand. Misry put in all her strength to let go.

Suddenly Raju gave up and Misry fell down in the water with a big splash. She was drenched from head to toe. She looked up at Raju who was watching her with his jaws dropped.

“I didn’t do anything. You slipped down.” He retorted.

She smiled back at him and said, “Thank you.”

“Come out right now. What are you doing? This is dirty water, you will catch cold. OH MY God Mashi will kill me today. Get out right now, I said!” Raju begged.

“Don’t worry. It’s okay! Don’t panic. Ma won’t say anything. She knows I want to learn swimming. You can join in too. See I can swim now.” Misry replied kicking her limbs back and forth.

Swimming was another lesson she wanted to learn besides climbing trees to equal up with her friends. They swiftly swam across the river while she sat back on the bank watching their clothes. She despised it.

But today she was all set to learn swimming and surprise everybody.  She put in more efforts. Since the water reached just about her waist she was more or less afloat and that gave her the confidence that whatever she was doing in the name of swimming was absolutely correct. She was sure that few more strokes and she will be competing with Phulwa and Bheero in swimming the next day.

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Raju kept watching her from the periphery without saying anything. After sometime he returned home without Misry.

After about an hour of playing in the muddy pool Misry retraced her path home.

***

The drawing room was buzzing with people. Anurag and Madhavi were busy attending the guests.

“Where is your daughter, Anurag?” asked one of the officers.

“Oh she must be playing somewhere, Sir. She will be home any minute.” Anurag answered.

“She is a very intelligent kid.” The officer complimented. “Last time when I met her she didn’t hesitate to ask me how many children I had and when I was going to bring them over.” He laughed.

“Oh!” Madhavi feet embarrassed. Her little daughter had no reins on her small tongue. She quickly excused herself and went to the kitchen.

At that moment Misry made her entry. She chose the main door to enter hearing all the laughter and voices inside.

“Namaste Uncle!”

All heads turned towards the door. There she was smeared in mud and wet like a cat drenched from head to toe.

For some moments nobody knew what to say. The kid looked terrible. Then they burst out laughing.

“What happened? You had a fight?” One of the officers asked pulling her inside the room.

“Nope! I was swimming.” She replied promptly.

“Good Lord! Where? Did you go to the river alone?” asked Anurag.

“No, not there.  I went swimming in the roadside muddy pool.” She answered with pride.

“No doubt about that, girl. Now go and change before you catch cold.” Anurag said and took her inside the house.

When Madhavi saw her daughter in this condition she almost lost her temper but kept her cool for the sake of the guests. Once they were gone, she spanked Misry with a cane till the child was red and blue.

Misry swore never go to roadside muddy pool again.

Later, when Madhavi cooled down she felt very sorry for losing her temper. She cuddled Misry and said with a broken heart, “GROW UP MESSY.”

*****

This is #day8 of the AtoZblogging Challenge throughout April.

26 stories in 26 days. I am attempting very very short stories series with GROW UP MESSY – The sweet sour story of a 5 year old girl. Follow my blog for the next story of Messy.

You can read the other post in the series here

 

 

 

 

 

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